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Summary: Some of the most effective ways you can generate business as an attorney involve connecting with your clients in a variety of ways. Learn more in this article.
In no particular order, the following is a list of business development tips for lawyers that focus on how to gain visibility in your field, how to strengthen current relationships, and where to find new business leads.
Become active in legal organizations to meet other attorneys and get your name out there.
Give a speech to an industry group or law school class. This not only advertises your professional knowledge but could also lead to referrals in the future.
Write a professional blog about legal news or cases and link it to your company website.
Send out a monthly newsletter to industry contacts, clients, and the press that provides news and commentary on important legal matters.
Develop a relationship with journalists so that they quote you as a legal expert in breaking news stories.
Write articles and get them published in industry trade journals or in mainstream publications to brand yourself as an expert in your field.
Sponsor a local event such as a charity 5K where potential clients may see your company name.
Keep your law firm biography up-to-date. That’s often the most-read part of the company website and is a big part of a potential client’s decision-making process on whether or not to hire you.
Use social media to broadcast your firm’s news and its values. Attorneys such as Lisa Bloom and Kathleen Zellner use Twitter to provide quick updates about their cases, and their social media usage also showcases their personality and where they stand on certain issues. While this may have been seen as strange in the past, modern clients want to know more about the people who represent them. Plus, news outlets now use social media to obtain direct quotes.
Appear on television as a legal commentator. Because of the 24-hour news cycle, channels are in need of legal experts who can provide insightful and interesting opinions on breaking stories.
Visit a client at his or her office with pastries and coffee, and do this while off-the-clock. Everyone there will like seeing you when you have food, and when they’re in a good mood, they’re more open to chatting.
Visit a client off-the-clock to find out what issues are concerning him. Let him know your thoughts on how he can tackle his problems. He will appreciate that you went the extra mile without billing him.
Be there for clients during times of personal joy and tragedy. That means showing up to weddings, birthday parties, or funerals; and not talking business at any point during those big life events.
…And if you don’t get invited to those events, send a card or phone your client on those occasions to let them know you care.
Have lunch or breakfast with non-legal referral sources. While it may not seem fruitful for business on the surface, you never know who knows who or who’ll need an attorney in the future.
Introduce clients or friends to professionals or people with similar interests. When you bring people together, they’ll like and remember you; and one day, they’ll return the favor.
Take clients out to fun events like a baseball game or out golfing to develop a genuine connection.
Grab drinks after work with your firm’s partners or colleagues.
Organize your own mini-networking events with former classmates such as a potluck or dinner.
Write an endorsement for clients and your friends on LinkedIn.
Send a handwritten holiday card to keep in touch with people. If you send out a mass mailer, most people will throw them away; but if you make an effort to personalize the message, clients and colleagues will appreciate it.
Nominate your clients and colleagues for awards in their field and let them know you did it.
Contact inactive clients with tips on how to grow their business.
Read the news to see if there are people who may be in need of an attorney and reach out to them.
Attend networking events and follow up with the people you like to schedule a coffee date later.
Join a non-legal organization such as a church or sports club. You’ll expand your network and have fun in the process.
After you finish a case for a client, ask them to refer you to others in the future. Most people will refer you anyway for doing a good job, but letting clients know you would like a referral helps them not forget about you.
Make your website as organized and informative as possible, and remember that the look of your website matters.
Be a greeter or host at business receptions so that you can introduce yourself to everyone in attendance.
Buy individual seats at events instead of an entire table. This way, you and your colleagues can spread out and meet more people.